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Publish Date: 20-May-2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to the nation’s Honey Bee shortage and as part of the hotel’s environmental stewardship program, The Fairmont Washington, D.C. has recently welcomed 105,000 Italian honey bees to their new home.  The rooftop of The Fairmont Washington, D.C. is now abuzz with three honey beehives and their residents.  The bees will enhance the hotel’s culinary program along with its interior courtyard garden that already provides fresh herbs and flowers such as edible pansies, and the plants, trees and flowers in the surrounding West End neighborhood.

Executive Sous Chef Ian Bens and Executive Pastry Chef Aron Weber will share the responsibility of Chief Bee Keeper.  They expect to retrieve 300 pounds of honey within the first year. Honey harvested from the Fairmont’s Bee Hives will be used in soups, salad dressings, pastries, ice cream and other culinary delights in the hotel’s restaurant Juniper.

Each of the Fairmont’s beehives house one queen bee and about 33,000 worker bees.  They travel up to three miles away from their rooftop home foraging for food, and always return to their respective hives.  Nearby Rock Creek Park offers trees and plants with the essential nectar they must gather for their work.

“Many pollinating bees have disappeared due to habitat loss and pollution.  Creating these new hives helps keep the bee population healthy and helps to ensure that plants are pollinated, which is also essential for insects, birds and animals to survive.  Eventually, The Fairmont hopes to use the honeycomb to create candles, soaps and even lip balm”, states Executive Sous Chef and Bee Keeper Ian Bens.

The Fairmont Bees came from Larry & David Reece in Germantown, Maryland. The Reece family has been keeping bees for over 150 years, and are widely respected among local beekeepers.  They are extremely bee-centered, rather than commercially oriented beekeepers, which explains the long-term strength and viability of their hives.

The Fairmont Washington, D.C. is the only hotel in the nation’s capital currently raising Honey Bees. The Fairmont buzz started at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, and is spreading from coast to coast as several more Queen Bees move into residence at The Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews, New Brunswick and The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a leader in sustainable tourism, was the first major hotel chain in North America to embrace environmental stewardship in its daily operations through the implementation of its own Green Partnership Program. The Fairmont Washington, DC has fully embraced this pledge to waste management, energy and water conservation. The hotel’s environmental committee has developed a number of programs incorporating the environmental mantra reduce, reuse and recycle into the hotel’s daily operating practices.

Located at 2401 M Street, NW, The Fairmont Washington, D.C. is convenient to the finest museums, theaters (including the Kennedy Center), shopping and dining.  Close to two metro stations, it is five miles from Reagan National Airport and 33 miles from Dulles International Airport.  At 415 rooms and luxury suites, The Fairmont Washington, D.C. offers a wealth of facilities while maintaining an air of tranquility insured through the design of intimate spaces, plenty of natural daylight, and a cascade of plants both inside and out.


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